LEDs Magazine Weekly Newsletter 23 October 2019 - Editor's Column

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine weekly newsletter for Oct. 23, 2019. Well, the M&A merry-go-round continues to spin in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors. As the company had promised, ams has made a renewed bid to acquire Osram. Our Mark Halper, who has closely followed the back-and-forth, described it as a “more lenient offer” meaning that ams is still offering the same price but has lessened its demands in terms of tendered shares. Osram CEO Olaf Berlien remains an obstacle, so we shall await the next chess move.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a bit more time to think about the Signify acquisition of Cooper that broke just as I was writing the newsletter column last week. I mentioned in my column on Monday of this week in our Smart Lighting and IoT newsletter that the companies each have an extensive portfolio of connected lighting products. And the more I think about it, the more I believe that the plans to keep “front office” functions such as sales and product development separate can’t be the right strategy across those organizations, at least now applied universally. The companies will have to find a way to unify the connected lighting portfolios if they are to best serve their customers.

Moving more into SSL technology, one trend I noted after LightFair International this year was the move by some lighting manufacturers to offer products with acoustic properties. A quiet environment, to some extent, boosts productivity, yet young professionals like collaborative spaces that inherently create actual crosstalk. Longer term, I suspect we will see active noise-canceling technologies deployed in the built architecture. Near term, it will be acoustic materials that can absorb noise.

We have an SSL project that applies just such noise absorption in public spaces of an IT company called Netscout. The company is a perfect use case as it employs many young technology professionals who are prone to collaborating in the open spaces that are plentiful in the interior architecture of the company’s new Texas facility. Pendant luminaires with acoustic panels from Eureka Lighting quiet those surroundings. I also wonder if the space will be submitted for WELL certification given the employee centricity that went into the lighting and acoustics.

Our content from the October issue has largely hit our website in HTML format. That enables easy location of articles via search. But we also post the complete issues in a digital magazine format that subscribers can access seamlessly. Subscribers can also access archived issues.

In the October issue, we have a feature article that I wrote on direct-view LED displays and the march toward microLED technology. I really enjoyed the subject at hand, and being a sports fan, I found the chance to experience one of the displays was just amazing. Alas, the prices are way high. But when the semiconductor industry figures out a way around a technology roadblock, prices drop quickly. We are going to have more in the area for you in a series of 2020 articles.

This is essentially my last chance in our weekly newsletter to tell you about our HortiCann Light + Tech event that will take place next Thursday in Denver. There is still time to join us. Also, I am working on a new case study in vertical farming that we will probably post as news tomorrow. It remains pretty astounding how much venture investment is flowing into horticulture.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. Please note my relatively new email address below. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, mwright@endeavorb2b.com